Lexus RX Commercial: Pop-Up Book

I’ve been waiting to see this RX commercial ever since I was sent some behind-the-scenes photos of the filming, and the final cut doesn’t disappoint:

It’s hard to imagine the amount of planning necessary to pull off something like this, which doesn’t seem to use any digital effects at all. I’m surprised by the factory setting, though, which seems a stark contrast to the commercial’s vibrant centerpiece.

(If this version is too lo-fi for you, there’s a much bigger video over at Creativity Online.)

Spy Shots: 2010 Lexus GX 470/4Runner?

2009/2010 Lexus GX 470

Leftlane News has posted spy shots of either the 2009 Toyota 4Runner or the 2010 Lexus GX, you can take your guess picking which.

In all honesty, with those extended tail lights, it looks more like a transformer in mid-change — a very effective camouflage job, indeed. The rear looks widened, and even a bit longer, but it could just be a result of the tarp.

2009/2010 Lexus GX 470

Consumer Reports: The Lexus GS AWD = Below Average

The Lexus GS

The news today is that the AWD versions of the Lexus GS, along with two Toyotas, have been dropped from Consumer Reports’ 2007 Recommended list. The net result, Toyota as a whole (including Lexus and Scion) has dropped from first overall to third, behind Honda and Subaru.

What were the problems with the AWD GS, which now ranks Below-Average? Consumer Reports asserts that the drop is due to the “accessories and audio system in the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS sedan”, which makes very little sense, as the AWD and RWD both share the same components. For some background, the prevailing complaint among Club Lexus GS owners is of creaks and rattles, as well as overall interior material quality, but nothing to add any weight to CR’s reasoning.

What I found startling is that Consumer Reports was essentially giving all Toyota models a free-pass to their Recommended list until now:

Still, because of these findings, CR will no longer recommend any new or redesigned Toyota-built models without reliability data on a specific design. Previously, new and redesigned Toyota models were recommended because of the automaker’s excellent track record, even if CR didn’t have sufficient reliability data on the new model. If Toyota returns to its previous record of outstanding overall reliability, CR may resume this practice. Typically, CR will only recommend a vehicle if the magazine has at least one year of reliability data for that specific model.

Seems like a bad practice to me, recommending any car on reputation alone, and I’m glad to see them discontinue this behavior.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Debunking the Lexus Age Myth

Lexus Logo

Not that I don’t trust the words of an outgoing executive, but Jim Farley’s comments last week in Automotive News seem to take a rather dark spin on Lexus’ future:

The news comes from former Lexus General Manager Jim Farley, who spoke with Automotive News prior to leaving his job last week to head to Ford. According to Farley, Lexus needs to “look very critically at the 30 to 40 year old customer.” As an example of how severe the situation is Farley explains that the Lexus ES 350’s average customer is aged 61, and their number-one occupation is “retired.” In fact, Farley revealed that 40% of Lexus buyers are over 60.

A study conducted by Power Information Network found that Lexus owners are older on average than all its rivals except Jaguar, Lincoln and Cadillac.

Ok, I can’t ignore it, why is a senior employee, only days away from leaving his job for a competitor, commenting on behalf of his former employer?

It’s very easy to turn this central fact around, as it means 60% of Lexus buyers are under 60, nevermind that using the ES as an example, a car targeted at older buyers, is a poor choice. Instead, let’s look at the luxury entry-level age:

The median age of people who bought a Mercedes C-Class in the first quarter this year was 47, according to data gleaned from J.D. Power & Associates Power Information Network, which parses dealership sales from around the country. By contrast, the average age of a buyer of BMW’s 3-Series cars was 42, while Lexus’ buyers for the IS averaged 41 years of age. The compact premium category average age is 45, per the consultancy.

So, Lexus has the lowest average age in the car class targeted expressly at a younger audience. What was Farley’s point again?

[Via: Motor Authority]

Video: Lexus LS 460 on Fire

Now this is something you don’t see every day:

Don’t know exactly what would cause a car to catch fire like this, but I’m sure it’s a special sort of circumstance, especially with no other cars involved.

I can’t believe people are driving right up near it, that’s just crazy.